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2005 Lotus Elise. 55k miles. Sport package and touring package. Both tops (both in excellent condition with original bags). An Elise has been my dream car since 2004, so I finally pulled the trigger and bought this car last spring. I spent the summer making it exactly what I wanted. Namely:
  • Pulled the entire interior out and fixed every squeak and rattle. Did all reasonable sound deadening (“reasonable” means I only added 6 lbs. but focused on max effectiveness).
  • Installed one of the best stereos ever put in an Elise. Honestly, I’d like to say “the best” since I’ve spent 6 months looking and not found its equal. For audio people, the basics are Pioneer DEH-80PRS, MiniDSP, HAT L6SE in the rear wall, Morel Virtus 402 components in dash, Dayton HO 10” sub in carbon fiber box, all professionally installed. Has wiring and mount for satellite radio. Endless hours tuning and perfecting. $2500 just for the components then 2 weeks of installation. You can hear it and feel it with the top off on the highway.
  • Brought all maintenance up to date (transmission to MT-90, flushed brake fluid and switched to Motul DOT5, changed coolant, new air filter).
  • Added some fun/useful bits: Aluminum side skirts. GRP front splitter. Painted calipers to match yellow accents on seats. GRP extendview mirrors. The car had a rear valence delete, but I didn’t like it, so I switched to 2007+ style rear valence. I also went with the 2007 raised chrome letters on the rear. I have an adjustable sway bar I was going to put on and haven’t had time to do. It can go with the car if the buyer wants it.
The car starts, drives, shifts and handles as new. Some other notable things the car had when I bought it:
  • The forged LSS wheels are in excellent shape.
  • Oil line recall has been performed.
  • It has TopSpeed Pro1 exhaust, which is louder than stock, but doesn’t drone.
  • Carbon fiber engine/boot cover (though it needs refinishing).
  • A few body/paint flaws. Less that you would expect from a 15-year-old fiberglass car, but the passenger door has a few bubbles in the paint (though nobody but me has ever noticed them) and other minor flaws. Overall, the car is drop-dead gorgeous.
As far as negatives:
  • The car has a rebuilt title from vandalism. It was yellow to begin with, but was painted black after the vandalism.
  • The power locks didn’t work when I bought the car. I bought and installed a new CDL module, thinking that would fix it since the system is pretty simple. After I put it in, though, I noticed the door switch is missing from the driver’s side jamb (the button that tells the car the door is closed). So that would need to be added to get the power locks to work. I just use the key.
  • The airbag light is on. The previous owner has the module and cable to reset it, but not the CD to get it to communicate with the laptop. I’ve never cared enough about it to chase it, but the cable will come with the car.
  • The AC leaks. All the components work and it will blow cold while R134A is hooked up, but there is a leak in the condenser at the fitting. I bought a new condenser from Inokinetic, planning to install it in the spring. I also bought new O-rings and a new receiver/drier. While I was at it, I figured I’d do the radiator, since it has to come out to get to the condenser. I bought a nearly-new OEM radiator and silicone radiator hoses from GRP. This $700 in components will come with the car.
I hate to sell the car, but a job change that puts me driving interstate only means it will be way less fun and just rack up miles. An Elise is tiny, loud and has no cruise control, so all the highway driving would be a waste. If I had known from the beginning I’d only have it for a summer, I would have spent the time driving it instead of upgrading it. But at least now it will be a really nice car for somebody. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Note that the first pictures below are from right after I bought it before adding the hard top, aero stuff, or other minor things.
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